Looking for a new racquet? Now could be the time to buy!

dealWith racquet manufacturers announcing new models for 2010, now could be the best time to score a terrific deal on a current model racquet.  Technology that just a few short months ago was being touted as the most advanced in the world is either currently on sale or will be soon.  If you are in the market for a new stick, this may be the ideal time to find yourself a steal of a deal!

Now is also the time if you have a current model racquet that you enjoy hitting with to purchase a backup or two.  Due to being discontinued, they will become very difficult to find in the near future so grab one or two and stick them in your closet until needed.  By doing this now you will get them for a good price and there is a good chance you will be able to locate them with your preferred grip size.

Also, now is the time to purchase replacement grommet sets for your current racquet.  Hold onto them, because they may soon too be discontinued.  If you intend to stay with your current racquet for a few more years, make preparations to do so now.

As always we strongly encourage you to purchase racquets with healthy racquet specifications. Unfortunately racquet manufacturers produce many models that are not arm-friendly and it is essential for your uniterrupted play and enjoyment that these be avoided.  As a service to our customers we are including the following information to aid you as you select a racquet that is arm-friendly.  Note, the following suggestions are based on our observations and experience.

Stiffness: An RDC flex rating in the mid 60’s or lower.  Try to avoid any flex rating above 68.  This is the only aspect of the frame that can not be modified. We believe lower is better.  60 and lower is our ideal range.

Weight: Racquets weighing in at 11 oz  or greater tend to be healthiest.  Try to avoid racquets falling in the sub 10 oz range.  Weight can be modified.

Balance: Racquets with a headlight balance are preferred.  Even balance is acceptable.  The racquet’s balance can be modified.

Length: 27″ – 27 1/4″ is ideal.  Longer can create issues.  Length can be modified.

Wondering if your frame is healthy?  Curious about the specs of a new frame you are considering purchasing?  Ask us in the comments section of this blog and we will attempt to respond with our perception of the racquet you are considering.

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16 Responses to Looking for a new racquet? Now could be the time to buy!

  1. jonathan says:

    It would be awesome if as you or blog readers see good deals on arm-friendly racquets on the internet, they post them here so people can be aware of them.

  2. josh says:

    I use the Dunlop Aerogel 500 Tour. What do you think about it?

  3. ggtennis says:

    @Josh – I consider the Aerogel 500 Tour a borderline racquet. The weight and balance of the Tour are acceptable, but stiffness measures 70 – 72 depending upon the source and that is just too stiff, IMO. Over time with significant play and multiple stringings the stiffness will soften, but that process takes time.

    The good news is that the Tour only scores weak in one area which is much better than scoring low in multiple areas. The bad news is the stiffness of the frame is the one area that can not be modified.

    I would suggest using softer strings in this this racquet and if you use any poly-based string I would look for the newer technology softer polys and would consider using them in a hybrid with a soft synthetic gut.

    Also I would encourage you to use a cushioned grip and make sure sure you replace the grip at regular intervals to help absorb shock.

    It is possible to play happily with the stick with no problems whatsoever and we hope this is the case with you. However, stay attuned to the feedback your body is giving you and pay particular attention to aches and pains in the elbow and shoulder.

  4. John says:

    I too play with a Dunlop Aerogel 500 Tour. You say to use a newer softer poly. Would this include MSV, Topspin Cyber Blue, and Weiss Cannon turbotwist strings?

  5. Johan says:

    I use an old Wilson Power Tour (2001) and I’m suffering through the dreadful reality of tennis elbow. I must switch to a new stick, and here are my choices. Witch one is best for my arm?
    K) Factor K Six.One 16*18 (95)
    Head Youtek Radical MP (Söderling)
    Babolat AeroPro Drive
    Head Youtek Speed MP 16*19

  6. ggtennis says:

    Of the racquets listed I believe the Head Radical offers the most arm friendly specifications. The Head Speed would be the second most friendly. Good luck!

  7. MayDay says:

    I have two Babolat Pure Control Team (2003) which is quite stiff. How do I make it arm friendly besides buying a new racket? I do use multi for string and will be trying low tension (48-50). It’s currently got leather grip with 1 overgrip on it. No weight modifications. Is the lower tension good enough for most, or should I also change out the leather grip to synthetic and go for natural gut?

    Thanks a bunch in advance!

  8. ggtennis says:

    @MayDay Make sure you are using a good quality, high-thread count, premium multi. The lower tension may help. Gut is the best for tennis elbow. You might consider a gut main/multi cross hybrid. I would start there. If you still need more dampening you could move to a cushioned grip. This is not a significant improvement, but rather incremental. Finally, if you do not want to modify weight (the pure control has a lot of mass already) I would suggest using a proportional stringing method. This does help absorb shock.

    The Pure Control Team does not measure as high as many of the Babs in terms of stiffness. The USRSA has it listed in the lower 60’s. With years of use it has probably also softened some.

    Good luck to you!

  9. Greg Cooke says:

    ALos have Tennis Elbow starting…are the Pro Kennex rackets as good as some say to help what other brands/models other than Pro Kennex do you like ?

    • ggtennis says:

      Greg,
      Sorry to hear about the tennis elbow. If you are catching it early…great! Be sure to take anti-inflammatories (check w/ dr.) and ice it down frequently.

      The ProKennex Kinetic line is very solid in terms of arm health as is the Redondo and new Black Ace. You can not go wrong with those sticks in terms of TE. We also like the Kneissl Black Star, but are nearly sold out and they are no longer in production. Look for racquets that are at least 11oz in weight, have a head light balance, and a stiffness rating (from an RDC) in the low 60’s or less. (Less is better) Also make sure the racquet is not longer than 27.25″. Good luck to you!

  10. Greg Cooke says:

    Just read a Blog that Pro kenex will be releasing there new line of Kinetic “Q” later this year or early 2011…do you have any news on what we can expect from this new line with regards to improvements and pricing..Why are these rackets not available in
    Canada…where are these rackets made….

    • ggtennis says:

      I believe the technology is referred to as SQ and while I do not know much about it, I do know that it is suppose to enlarge the hitting zone with technology placed at 10:00, 2:00, 4:00 and 8:00 on the frame. The specs of the first model were very light…less than 10oz so the technology better be darn good or they could find arm problems. I have no idea when the racquets will be released, but I suspect pricing will be on par with other new models, in the $180’s – $220’s, but that is just a guess. PK has had distribution issues in North America and many shops are hesitant to carry the product because one day they are here, the next day the are gone. I do not know where they will be manufactured…my guess is Taiwan or China. Sorry I don’t have anything better to offer. I will send a link of this discussion to our PK sales rep and see if he has anything to add.

  11. Johan says:

    Hi, this is how I did. I first started with K) Factor K Six.One 16*18 (95). TE directly, so i swithed to Babolat AeroPro Drive GT. This was a good raquet from a TE pow. TE dissapeared completly. I played with it for 5 month or so, no problem. Then I changed back to the Wilson K SixOne because I don’t like/play like Nadal with the hudge topspin I play more straigt. The TE came back after 2 weeks so I can’t use it. Too heavy? (ca: 350g) Too much vibration? (think so) But I live the shape of it… What too do? Go BLX maybe or Babolat pure Drive GT. I think high stiffness is good for TE at least in combo with the babolat dampning system(cortex).

    K) Factor K Six.One 16*18 (95)
    Head Youtek Radical MP (Söderling)
    Babolat AeroPro Drive
    Head Youtek Speed MP 16*19

  12. Greg Cooke says:

    Have been using a Yonex RDS003 for 3 months now and very satisfied with it.
    It’s a heavier racket( 344g) due to new gel grip & overgrip.
    , head light, 27.25 ” length, flex 65 and made in Japan.
    My Tennis elbow along with wearing a Coopercare laStrap has improved my arm.
    Am considering the newer Yonex RDIS200 as my main racket with the RDs003 as backup. The RDIS 200 has a flex of 61, headlight and nearly same wieght as RDS003.
    Any comments on this racket versus e.g a Prince 03 Speedport Tour on sale Or a Wilson BLX One 95 16×18 string and flex-67 …
    Personnaly I would prefer the Yonex any comments on the RDIS200 or the Prince or Wilson. thks Greg

  13. Adriel Lepretre says:

    Hi! I am curently using a Babolat Aeroprodrive Gt racket. Good racket but maybe a bit stiff even when using a soft copoly like TT or B5E.
    I have some shoulder pain and consequently considering these two Yonex rackets: Vcore 98 and 100. The specifications of these rackets are the following:

    Babolat Aeroprodrive VCore 98 VCore 100
    headsize: 100 98 100
    ounces: 11.3 11.3 11.1
    pts. head light: 4 6 5
    stiffness: 70 65 68
    swingweight: 331 309 306
    beam width:
    23mm/26mm/24mm 22.5/22.5/22 24.5/24.5/23
    string pattern:16×19 16×20 16×19
    swingspeed: fast fast medium/fast
    power level:low-medium low-medium low-medium

    As seen, the most noticeable difference is swingweight.

    I depend greatly on a racket that has good racket speed so I can produce heavy topspin.

    At a first glance, it seems that the Vcore S is the most similar with the Babolat Aerprodrive Gt but the big difference in swingweight makes me think it is much lighter.

    On the other hand, the VCore 98, even when it has a different head size and string pattern, could be more similar to the Babolat considering weight and swingweight.

    Also, consider Yonex is isometric form (squared) and Babolat is round form.

    Please give me your opinion on the following as this is very confusing:

    1) Which one, the VCore 98 or 100, do you think is a better option and resembles more the Babolat in terms of specifications (considering my comments)?

    2)Does the 68 vs 65 stiffness index between the Vcore 100 and 98 represent a big difference considering that usually Yonex has good shock absorption?

    3) Does the difference in beam width between the VCores a factor to consider in order to determine if they resemble the Babolat? Please explain.

    Unfortunately where I live I can’t demo Yonex rackets which is ideal and would prevent this complex, tiresome and maybe useless analysis.

    Sorry if the consultation is to extense.

    Thank you.

  14. Adriel Lepretre says:

    I think the specs are not clear in my last email. I am sending them again.
    Babolat Aero:
    11.3
    4 HL
    16×19
    100sq in
    331 swingweight
    70 stiffness
    beam width: 23/26/24
    swing speed: fast
    power level: low medium
    27 inches

    VCore 98
    11.3
    6HL
    16×20 string pattern
    309 swingweight
    stiffness: 65
    beam width: 22.5/22.5/22
    swing speed: fast
    power level:low medium
    27 inches

    Vcore 100
    11.1 ounces
    4HL
    16×19
    306 swingweight
    stiffness: 68
    beam width: 24.5/24.5/23
    power level: low medium
    swing speed:medium- fast
    27 inches

    I hope this message is readable when I send it as the format could change the order as this happened in the prior message.. Let’s see.

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